Salman Abedi has been identified as the Manchester Arena bomber. ISIS claimed responsibility for the attack hours after 22 people, some of them children, were killed while attending an Ariana Grande concert in England.
Twenty-three-year-old Manchester Arena suicide bomber Salman Abedi was reportedly from Libya. British law enforcement agents raided multiple properties while searching for information about the bomber and possible cohorts in the gruesome terror attack.
Pictures have surfaced on social media of Greater Manchester police and other law enforcement agencies raiding properties at Whaley Range, Carlton Street, and Elsmore Road in nearby Fallowfield. A controlled explosion took place at the Fallowfield residence, briefly inducing panic among residents in the neighborhood.
Neighbors of one of the raided residences where Salman Abedi may have lived claimed they heard the man chanting Muslim prayers several weeks before the Manchester terror attack. Counter-terrorism agents are still in the early stages of their investigation and do not yet know if Abedi was acting alone when he took a bomb to the Ariana Grande concert or was part of a larger radical Islamic terrorism cell.
When ISIS claimed credit for the Manchester bombing, the statement also said “one of the caliphate’s soldiers” put bombs “within a gathering of crusaders.”
— Fox News (@FoxNews) May 23, 2017
Manchester police officers and counter-terrorism agents are currently reviewing surveillance camera footage from the night of the terror attack to determine if Salman Abedi conducted a “recce” or surveillance of the large arena before launching the Manchester bombing. Another team of law enforcement agents is going through footage from the closed-caption cameras dating back at least a week in an attempt to spot Abedi and any possible accomplices.
The bomb was filled with thousands of nails and detonated as Ariana Grande fans were exiting the venue. The Manchester bomber was known to British counter-terrorism authorities. Exactly why Abedi was on some type of watch list has not yet been shared with the public.
Bomb squad and forensic teams are reviewing the remains of the Manchester bomb to learn as much as they can about the device. Although their findings are still preliminary, they have determined the terror attack bomber possessed a “level of sophistication” that indicates Salman Abedi, or someone else, had undergone at least some type of formal training and not simply created a bomb from information found on the internet.
“It is unlikely that if the device was sophisticated that the suicide bomber made it – experience shows that organizations are reluctant to ‘waste’ the expertise of a bombmaker in an attack, preferring to keep him or her for another attack,” a law enforcement source told the Daily Mail. “It is therefore highly likely that this terrorist is part of a cell or had a support network and they are the priority.”
Raids in the Great Manchester area are expected to continue for the next 48 hours. Intelligence officers are currently reviewing Salman Abedi’s possible links to hotbeds for radical Islamic extremists groups in Syria and other places around the globe.
— New York Daily News (@NYDailyNews) May 23, 2017
British officials have arrested one man from the southern Manchester area in connection to the bombing at the Ariana Grande concert, CBS News reports. Law enforcement officers are urging citizens and visitors to avoid venturing into the center of the city due to the ongoing investigation and raids that could be occurring.
The SITE Intel Group monitors jihadist organizations and shared details about their findings online. After ISIS claimed responsibility for the Manchester bombing, the group revealed the Islamic State referred to the location of the terror attack as a “shameless concert arena.”
[Featured Image by Rui Vieira/AP Images]